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                 === Kearse TD lifts Seahawks over Panthers ===
 
 Charlotte,  NC (Sports  Network) - Jermaine Kearse's touchdown reception early
 in  the fourth  quarter was the difference, as the Seattle Seahawks topped the
 Carolina Panthers, 12-7, in the 2013 season opener for both clubs.
 
 Russell  Wilson  finished 25-of-33  for 320  yards and  that 43-yard strike to
 Kearse  for the Seahawks (1-0), who finished 11-5 a season ago and lost in the
 second round to Atlanta.
 
 "It's  always special to  come back here and play. The state of North Carolina
 is very special to me," admitted Wilson, a North Carolina State product.
 
 Doug  Baldwin  totaled 91 yards on  seven grabs, Marshawn Lynch led the ground
 attack  with  43 yards on  17 carries and Steven  Hauschka converted a pair of
 field goals in the victory.
 
 Cam Newton was 16-of-23 for 125 yards and a touchdown, adding 38 yards on five
 carries  for the Panthers (0-1), who are looking to improve upon a 7-9 mark in
 2012.
 
 "We  have to be more aggressive and take the bull by the horns and go," Newton
 said.  "We did some things that were very exciting today, but as an offense we
 have to finish drives. We have to get the first down."
 
 Steve  Smith  ended with 51  yards on  six receptions, while DeAngelo Williams
 recorded  76 yards  on 16  attempts, but  coughed up  the ball  on a  key late
 possession.
 
 Seattle  picked  up the  first points of  the final quarter,  as Kearse made a
 leaping grab of a Wilson heave and fell into the end zone for a 43-yard score.
 The conversion pass was incomplete and it was 12-7 for the visitors with 10:13
 to play.
 
 "I  just went  through my  progressions  and he  was my  second read,"  Wilson
 admitted.  "Everybody  believes they can make  'that' play. I believe they can
 make it, too."
 
 Carolina  neared the red zone with 5:25 remaining, but on a 2nd-and-2 from the
 Seattle  24-yard  line, Earl  Thomas' hit  pried the  ball loose from Williams
 after  a gain of  16 yards and Tony McDaniel recovered at the Seahawks' 8-yard
 line.
 
 "It  was my  play to make and I  didn't make it," Williams said. "Next time my
 number's called, I will deliver."
 
 Wilson  led his club  56 yards to the Carolina 36 just ahead of the two-minute
 warning,  then  took a  knee on  three consecutive downs  to whittle away what
 remained of the clock.
 
 Hauschka  was true from 22 yards away and Seattle hit the scoreboard with 9:36
 to play in the first half. It capped a methodical 74-yard, 15-play drive which
 began late in a scoreless opening quarter.
 
 Carolina  responded on  its next possession, taking a 7-3 lead as Newton found
 Smith from three yards out to cap an 80-yard, 11-play series.
 
 The  Seahawks  advanced deep in Carolina  territory inside the final minute of
 the  half, but Wilson was sacked by Charles Johnson, who recovered the ball at
 his own 19.
 
 Seattle  crept  within 7-6 as 2:22  remained on the third-quarter clock, after
 Hauschka  made a 40-yard  attempt to finish off his club's third series of the
 second half.
 
                                   Game Notes
 
 Seattle  has  won five of  seven all-time meetings against Carolina, splitting
 four  matchups in  Charlotte ... Smith extended his franchise-record streak to
 92  straight games  with at least one  reception ... Golden Tate ended with 51
 yards  on  four catches for  Seattle, while  Greg Olsen led Carolina receivers
 with  56  yards on  five grabs  ... The  Seahawks outgained  the Panthers by a
 370-243  margin ...  Carolina offensive  lineman Gary  Williams exited  in the
 second  quarter  and did  not return  with a  knee injury.  He is scheduled to
 undergo an MRI this week.
 
 
 09/08 17:26:35 ET